Social marketing for a better world

Newsletter June 2015

Dear Friend of DKT:

It has been almost 20 years since the founding of DKT’s program in Indonesia.  Our work there started as an initiative to increase condom use and evolved, in 2001, into a broader family planning program.  We continue to work with a network of some 5,000 midwives and have trained tens of thousands more, providing materials, technical support, and high-quality products. Our groundbreaking advertising continues to influence Indonesian contraceptive views. DKT Indonesia serves millions of couples throughout the archipelago and prevented some 1.7 million unwanted pregnancies in 2014.  Although the program has changed much in the last twenty years, one thing has remained the same: the passion and dedication of DKT’s team on the ground.

This passion to improve access to family planning is what DKT is all about:

  • In Ethiopia, DKT was involved in the early work to successfully liberalize abortion laws, and subsequently register and import abortion pills.
  • Across 7 countries, DKT’s social franchises demonstrate our knack for providing creative solutions to pervasive, global health access problems.
  • In Ghana, DKT provides an estimated 35% of all contraception used in the country.

You will find updates on these issues (and more) in this month’s newsletter.

Thank you for supporting DKT International.

Christopher Purdy
DKT International


Ensuring safe abortion in Ethiopia

In 2014, DKT Ethiopia prevented 334,000 unsafe abortions through its sale of contraceptives and reproductive health products.

DKT has long been committed to increasing access to safe abortions. As an active member of the Abortion Advocacy Working Group in Ethiopia, DKT supported the legalization of abortion, and became the first organization to import and sell the abortion pill when the country liberalized its abortion laws. Today, DKT is the only provider of such drugs to the private sector and acts as the main back-up supplier to the Federal Ministry of Health.  DKT has provided more than 1.1 million doses of the abortion pill pack to Ethiopians since 2009. Despite this success, The Guttmacher Institute reports that six in ten abortions in Ethiopia are still unsafe. To help address this challenge, DKT continues to advocate for abortion reform in Ethiopia by educating providers and users and working with government officials to make abortions safer.


DKT operates social franchise clinics in seven countries


DKT’s Tanzania clinics offer high quality, affordable care in a comforting, professional setting.

DKT manages social franchising programs in seven countries, both running our own clinics and partnering with other private clinics to provide high quality, affordable services.  Our flagship social franchise in Bihar, India, now operates 40 DKT-owned clinics and partners with another 113, and has provided family planning products and services to over 15 million couples since 1995. In Pakistan, DKT’s Dhanak franchise has trained midwives in IUD insertion and removal, refurbished more than 730 facilities, and expanded access to family planning in rural parts of Pakistan, including KPK and Balochistan provinces. Last month, DKT Tanzania established a ‘hub and spoke’ health center model in Dodoma, with one main DKT clinic and multiple franchises offering a wide range of products.  DKT also operates social franchises in Indonesia, Mozambique, DRC, and Ethiopia.


carafem- A new US abortion provider

carafem provides early term abortion care and family planning in the USA.

While we don’t often promote the work of other organizations, we feel compelled to share the work of carafem, a new non-profit abortion care and family planning organization.  carafem provides greater access, convenience, and affordability to women seeking these services and uses ground-breaking advertising to change the tenor and tone of the abortion conversation.  In this Huffington Post article, DKT President Chris Purdy and carafem Vice President Melissa Grant discuss the factors that contributed to their decision to launch carafem.

DKT Ghana serves more than 1 in 3 contraceptive users

DKT Ghana street performers share information about family planning and condom demonstrations.

In 2014, DKT provided an estimated 35-40% of contraceptives used in Ghana.  Offering a full range of options through the private sector, combined with cutting edge advertising and branding campaigns, DKT has been on the forefront of shifting behavior – with a particular focus on youth.  From our cutting edge condom and IUD advertisements to our on-the-ground education efforts in rural markets, DKT is increasing understanding of safe sex and uptake of family planning products.


Indonesia unites pleasure and practicality 

In 2014, DKT Indonesia sold 862,000 IUDs.

In 2014, DKT Indonesia sold 862,000 IUDs.

DKT Indonesia’s most recent television advertising campaign does something that has scarcely been done before. In a country that values modesty and discretion, Andalan IUD commercials ask husbands and wives, “How has it felt since getting an IUD?” In asking a simple question, this inquiry opens up a conversation about sexual pleasure. Oftentimes, IUDs (and other forms of long-acting contraceptives) are discussed purely from a family planning point of view and sex is hardly mentioned at all. By encouraging husbands and wives to discuss how having an IUD has impacted their sex lives, Andalan is rewriting the narrative that IUDs are not only practical and reliable for family planning, they can also make sex better.